Thursday, January 27, 2022

Try Screencastify & Google Keep for Adding Comments to Google Docs

On Sunday evening I got an email from someone who had seen my videos about Mote and wondered if there was something similar for adding video comments to Google Docs. One of my suggestions was to try the e-Comments Chrome extension which I reviewed last spring. Another option is to use a combination of Screencastify and Google Keep to build a bank of video comments that you can insert into the comments of Google Documents or Google Slides. 

The process of using Screencastify and Google Keep to create a video comment bank for Google Docs is fairly straight-forward. First, record your short video comments or short lesson with Screencastify. Second, get the "share" link from Screencastify. Third, create a note in Google Keep that contains the link to the video (I recommend giving the notes easy-to-remember names and labels). Finally, whenever you need the video link just open Google Keep in the sidebar of the Google Doc you're viewing and copy the video link from the Google Keep into your comment. 

In this video I demonstrate how to use Screencastify and Google Keep to create a bank of video comments that you can insert into the comments of your students' Google Docs and Slides. 

ICYMI - Webinar Recording - Two EdTech Guys Take Questions

Last week Rushton Hurley and I resumed our Two EdTech Guys Take Questions webinar series. If you missed it, you can watch the recording right here or as embedded below. Rushton does a great job of sharing links to all of the resources that we mention in the webinar. That list of resources can along with the slides from the webinar can found right here on the Next Vista website


The next live edition of Two EdTech Guys Take Questions will be on February 10th at 4pm ET. Register here to join us for the fun.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Denali Distance Learning Opportunities

Although I've been to Alaska twice, I've yet to visit Denali National Park. I hope that some day soon I can visit it with my daughters. In the meantime there are some cool resources for learning about Denali on the National Parks Service's website. One of those resources is a free distance learning program offered to schools in the United States. 

The National Parks Service offers the Denali Distance Learning Program from November 1st through March 31st. Through this program you can request a live, virtual presentation by Denali staff for your students. There are six programs/ presentations available for elementary school classrooms and one available for high school classrooms. 

The elementary school programs are:

  • At Home in Denali's Biome
  • Denali's Dinosaurs
  • What Would You Do: Winter Wildlife
  • Lessons from the Land
  • The Science of Sled Dogs
  • Ask an Alaskan - Living and Working in Denali
The program for high school classrooms is called Why Wilderness?

You can learn more about all of Denali's Distance Learning programs right here and request a presentation on that same page. 

According to this recent Instagram post on the Denali National Park account, there is still some availability for presentations this year, but space is filling up fast. 

Wiki History Game - A Fun Timeline Game

Wiki History Game is a free timeline game based on Wikipedia entries. I discovered it on Product Hunt last week and immediately lost about 30 minutes of my day playing the game. The game is a simple one, but an addictive one for history buffs. The premise of the game is to sort events into order on a timeline. 

To play Wiki History Game just go to the site and click start. You'll then see two events on the screen. Drag them into the correct order. As soon as you do that another event will appear and you have to drag that into the correct order with the two previous events. There aren't any points awarded or any levels. The object is just to consecutively, correctly sort as many events as possible. 

Here's a little video demo of the game.

Applications for Education
If you're a middle school or high school social studies teacher who is looking for a fun activity for your students to do when they have a little free time, this game could be worth linking to on your classroom website or in your Google Classroom materials section.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Create a Teacher Report Card With Google Forms

Last week a teacher emailed me looking for suggestions on how to create a teacher report card that her students can complete anonymously. One of the things that I suggested was to create a Google Form that doesn't require students to sign into their Google accounts. Google Forms includes a course evaluation template. I would simply use that template and change a few items within it to meet my needs. Then before sending the Form to my students I'd disable all of the options for collecting email addresses and any other identifying information. In this video I demonstrate the process of using Google Forms to create a teacher report card



Take a look at this collection of videos on my YouTube channel to learn more about helpful ways to use Google Forms in your classroom.